BWI is down to one trans-Atlantic flight

The Baltimore Sun

Air Greenland is stopping its short-lived service out of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, leaving BWI with one trans-Atlantic flight.

The airline said it will cancel 10 flights scheduled for this summer between BWI and Kangerlussuaq. The move comes less than a year after Air Greenland began seasonal service to Baltimore, the airline's first U.S. destination.

The falling U.S. dollar, which has reduced American demand for travel abroad, and soaring fuel and aircraft rental costs forced Air Greenland to end the service, the carrier said.

The airline said it lost $15.1 million Danish kroner - more than $3 million - on the BWI route last summer and expected similar losses this season. When service debuted at BWI in late May, Air Greenland planned to offer flights twice weekly in the summer and once a week for a few weeks in the spring and fall.

"The company can therefore not accept another year with losses of the same dimensions on a single route," a company statement said.

Passengers who have booked tickets are being contacted by travel agents or the airline's ticket offices, Air Greenland said. The carrier flew 1,676 passengers through the U.S. last year, BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean said.

"The airline had a marginal presence at BWI," Dean said. "The airline's entry into the U.S. market last year was an experiment in luring American tourists to Greenland. That experiment fell short of the air carrier's expectations."

Air Greenland's departure leaves BWI with just one trans-Atlantic flight, British Airway's daily service to London.

It's a rare bright spot on the airport's shrinking international roster.

Icelandair ended service to Baltimore in January.

Other international carriers have come and gone since BWI opened a $147 million international terminal in 1997 in a bid to attract more carriers. Mexicana Airlines suspended flights from BWI to Mexico City in May, just 16 months after relaunching service.

In May, BWI will also lose all flights to Africa, when North American Airlines cuts routes to Lagos, Nigeria, and Accra, Ghana.

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